Your Forests, Your Future
Grade Appropriate Level: 10-12
Materials: Internet, access to a word processing software (e.g. Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Notepad...)
Since decisions about our forests affect you too, we'd like to know what you consider to be the major issues facing the forest environment.
Prescribed Learning Outcomes:
Suggested Instructional Strategies:
Write a news release or opinion column about your research, conduct a possible school/class survey with Google Forms, then send it to your local media outlet. Ensure you’ve identified a spokesperson(s).
The release should be no more than four to five short paragraphs, using the five Ws and an H (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) starting with the most important detail first and working down to the least important. Your teacher may be able to help or you can view some media releases online to guide you.
Try to ensure you have a balanced release that has links to accurately sourced facts. Example: If your opinion is we shouldn’t cut down trees, then include a plan to replace the products we use trees for. Make sure you’ve done your research.
Or, if you believe sustainable logging with forest replanting should be allowed, then show how you have adequate plans to reduce impacts to various wildlife and plant species, along with replanting proposed. You’ll need to ensure you have the local Indigenous partners in your release and integrate their views, which may not all be aligned.
Find out which Indigenous bands are in your area here. Many local BC First Nations already have forestry agreements in place.
You could invite an Indigenous person and a member of a local forest company to talk to your class before you create your press release. Ask about the pros and cons, how Indigenous knowledge is integrated into a harvesting plan. How did partnerships with Indigenous groups and forest companies occur? What are the key elements to success? What did each partner learn from one another?
This is very much all part of the balancing act that real foresters and other forest professionals must adhere to when managing forests for conservation or environmental health, biodiversity, economic values, jobs and Indigenous importance.
Suggested Assessment Strategies:
Did students conduct research from a variety of sources and views before writing their release or opinion column? Did students use proper attribution of sources/facts?
Were their polling questions (if used) written objectively or were they leading questions with a built-in bias?
Did they get a good response to their poll? Did they accurately summarize their responses?
Was the press release written in the proper style with the most important information up front? Did students use appropriate grammar, spelling and send their release to the correct news outlets in their local area? Did they get a response?
BC First Nations Forestry Council
Press Release Resources:
How to write a press release
To explore career paths that align with your interests, visit the following sites:
First Nations in Sustainability Careers (FORED BC)
Environmental Careers Organization of Canada
WorkBC Forests Careers (cool video here)
Photos courtesy of www.pexels.com